WASHINGTON -- Good news, baseball fans. Metro will be ready to provide late-night weekday service for the playoffs courtesy of LivingSocial, the D.C.-based online deal site, which will cover the cost.
The LivingSocial news, announced at a Thursday evening press conference at the Navy Yard station, brings to a close a tense few weeks of negotiations between the District of Columbia government, the Nationals and Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, all of which had refused to cough up the money to pay for extra service following games that end after Metrorail's normal weeknight midnight closing.
An extra hour of service costs roughly $30,000. Metro has agreements with the Redskins and the Capitals to run extra weeknight service when necessary but lacks such an arrangement with the Nationals, which, according to WTOP-FM, were under pressure from Major League Baseball to not pay for extra service.
D.C. Councilmember Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) had said in recent weeks that he expected a resolution to be reached, but didn't know who would end up paying. The D.C. government had previously covered the cost of extra Metrorail service for late Nats games but axed that arrangement as part of budget cutting.
In August, scores of Nats fans were stranded outside the Navy Yard station following a late game, prompting outrage and negotiations to find a solution before the playoffs began.